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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Want a MBP for audio. Worried about slow hard drive

Want a MBP for audio. Worried about slow hard drive
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Nov 26, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
I want a macbook pro to work on audio projects but I do not like that I can't get a 7200rpm hard drive. Has anyone worked with the 5400 drive on any projects? How did it work for you?
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 03:00 PM
 
I'm using my MPB right now for a video project, and it doesn't seem to mind having a 5200 RPM drive. Rotational speed may not have as much effect as you might think because these drives are pretty new and the platters are pretty "dense".

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 05:03 PM
 
Did an 8-Track recording last weekend of a musical on my MBP's internal drive with an Edirol UA-101. Worked just fine. Project used 24bits at 48kHz.
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Nov 26, 2006, 08:45 PM
 
8 tracks of 48kHz audio tracking is hardly a performance test.

A 400 MHz Pismo G3 Powerbook could do more than 20 tracks to the original internal disk. I'm not sure if even 4200 rpm drives existed back then.
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 10:34 PM
 
Consensus seems to be that it won't be any problem. If analogika manged 20 tracks on his Pismo, your MBP should SCREAM through whatever your project is.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
lukejc1  (op)
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Nov 27, 2006, 12:34 AM
 
Thanks for the comments so far guys. I guess the 5400 drive wont be a big deal after all.
     
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Nov 29, 2006, 08:25 PM
 
I run ProTools on my MBP, no problems at all.
     
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Nov 30, 2006, 08:24 AM
 
I have been reading reports that with the 200GB 4200rpm drive, video captures are fine and no problems with any audio work reported.


It's worth noting that when digital audio recording first started, the drives were a similar number of rpms (4200) and much older technology.

Anything bought today should be fine for all but the most taxing work.
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Nov 30, 2006, 07:05 PM
 
I dont understand. I have a 7200 rpm drive in my MBP. Yeah I had to order it from apple. But when you do Audio its best to have a 7200. I would not use anything slower.
     
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Nov 30, 2006, 07:53 PM
 
Faster is generally better, but fast enough is fast enough.

Also, as barefeats.com testing has shown, a 5400 rpm drive can be faster than a 7200 rpm drive.
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ryanhdd View Post
I dont understand. I have a 7200 rpm drive in my MBP. Yeah I had to order it from apple. But when you do Audio its best to have a 7200. I would not use anything slower.
What's going on with that? I thought there was a 7200 option, too. Now it's not there. Did they stop offering it, or are they just having supply problems right now?
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 07:53 PM
 
If all else fails ... Buy an external FW800 HD enclosure to an SATA drive. Pickup a WD Raptor that runs 10k RPM. Solves all your problems.
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Dec 2, 2006, 12:45 PM
 
The math for figuring out how many tracks you can get is pretty simple ( considering ) Sample rate x # of tracks x bit depth / 8 = x KB.

So, let's say we have 128 tracks of 24/96, and see what we need a hard drive to do...

128 (tracks) x 96 (sample rate) x 3 ( bit depth / 8) = 36,864KB/sec / 8 = 36MB/sec for sustained read to play back.

I know it's pretty ambitious, but what the heck! I'm not sure which HD is currently in use in Macbook Pro - but I think 128 tracks is Logic's limit, and it looks like the HD would max out very close to this.... if you use less tracks, or lower sample rate, bit depth, it will be much easier....

128 tracks @ 44.1KHz 24 bit = 16,934.4 KB/sec 16.5375 MB/sec ( EASY on any recent 2.5" drive @ about 1/2 it's ability! )

OK, now you try it.... Number of tracks x sample rate x bits/ 8 < 2 for 16 bit 3 for 24 bit> = KB/sec

BTW people have been doing 100 tracks on powerbooks for years without customization, it should be fine.
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Dec 2, 2006, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by lukejc1 View Post
I want a macbook pro to work on audio projects but I do not like that I can't get a 7200rpm hard drive. Has anyone worked with the 5400 drive on any projects? How did it work for you?
Real World Speed Tests for Performance Minded Mac Users has tests. 7200 rpm is substantially faster, but as drives fill they slow way down, so depending on how much data is on board a bigger slower rpm drive can be faster.

I ordered a portable external 7200 rpm FW 800 drive from OWC to use with my C2D MBP, my premise being that I will routinely offload data (specifically DSLR image masters) to my desktop drive array, keeping the 7200 drive no more than half full.

Experience tells me that I will not be able to keep the MBP main drive below 70 GB, so I bought the 160/5400 drive rather than the 100/7200 one.

Another choice is to move the Superdrive to an external case and install a 7200 rpm MCE drive in that space. For now I decided to go with the portable external FW800 drive so that I can keep the drive in my pocket to maintain secure data redundancy in the field.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Dec 2, 2006 at 02:51 PM. )
     
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Dec 3, 2006, 12:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by hamsuplo View Post
If all else fails ... Buy an external FW800 HD enclosure to an SATA drive. Pickup a WD Raptor that runs 10k RPM. Solves all your problems.
At that point I think you're better off with a SATA ExpressCard card; 2-4 times the bandwidth of FW800 and lower latency for about the same price.
     
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Dec 3, 2006, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Armas View Post
The math for figuring out how many tracks you can get is pretty simple ( considering ) Sample rate x # of tracks x bit depth / 8 = x KB.

So, let's say we have 128 tracks of 24/96, and see what we need a hard drive to do...

128 (tracks) x 96 (sample rate) x 3 ( bit depth / 8) = 36,864KB/sec / 8 = 36MB/sec for sustained read to play back.

I know it's pretty ambitious, but what the heck! I'm not sure which HD is currently in use in Macbook Pro - but I think 128 tracks is Logic's limit, and it looks like the HD would max out very close to this.... if you use less tracks, or lower sample rate, bit depth, it will be much easier....

128 tracks @ 44.1KHz 24 bit = 16,934.4 KB/sec 16.5375 MB/sec ( EASY on any recent 2.5" drive @ about 1/2 it's ability! )

OK, now you try it.... Number of tracks x sample rate x bits/ 8 < 2 for 16 bit 3 for 24 bit> = KB/sec
Hey, I was told there would be no math...
     
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Dec 3, 2006, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Armas View Post
I think 128 tracks is Logic's limit
Hasn't been for many years.

Even Logic Express does 255 STEREO tracks + 64 virtual instruments.

Logic Pro has no limit, AFAIK.
     
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Dec 4, 2006, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Hasn't been for many years.

Even Logic Express does 255 STEREO tracks + 64 virtual instruments.

Logic Pro has no limit, AFAIK.
255 Stereo + 64 soft synths... you'd need to node it up for that.. and I'm pretty sure Express doesn't support that

Hmmm... I love noding up one of my MBPs
2.8 Ghz Unibody MacBook Pro 15" - 4GB Ram - Logic Pro 8.0
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